New Books Network

John C. McManus, “Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber, 2019)
For most Americans, the war the United States waged in the Pacific in the Second World War was one fought primarily by the Navy and the Marine Corps. As John C. McManus demonstrates in Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber), however, this obscures... Read More
J. Browning and T. Silver, “An Environmental History of the Civil War” (UNC Press, 2020)
This sweeping new history recognizes that the Civil War was not just a military conflict but also a moment of profound transformation in Americans’ relationship to the natural world. To be sure, environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war... Read More
W. J. Perry and T. Z. Collina, “The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump” (BenBella Books, 2020)
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, American nuclear policy continues to be influenced by the legacies of the Cold War. Nuclear policies remain focused on easily identifiable threats, including China or Russia, and how the United States would respond in the event of a first strike... Read More
Leah Zani, “Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos” (Duke UP, 2019)
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Leah Zani, a public anthropologist and poet based in California, about her truly wonderful book Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos (Duke University Press, 2019). Her research takes place half a century after the CIA’s Secret War in Laos –... Read More
Theresa Kaminski, “Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War: One Woman’s Journey to the Medal of Honor and the Fight for Women’s Rights” (Lyons Press, 2020)
Among the tens of thousands of Americans who volunteered their services during the Civil War was Mary Walker, a daring young woman who was one of the handful of female doctors in the nation at that time. Yet despite the often desperate need for medical professionals she spent much of... Read More
Lakshmi Subramanian, “The Sovereign and the Pirate: Ordering Maritime Subjects in India’s Western Littoral” (Oxford UP, 2016)
Lakshmi Subramanian’s The Sovereign and the Pirate: Ordering Maritime Subjects in India’s Western Littoral (Oxford University Press, 2016) offers an amphibious history written around the juncture of the nineteenth century, when the northwestern littoral of India—largely comprising of Gujarat, Kathiawad, Cutch, and Sind—was battered by piratical raids. These attacks disrupted... Read More
Elizabeth Shesko, “Conscript Nation: Coercion and Citizenship in the Bolivian Barracks” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2020)
Elizabeth Shesko’s Conscript Nation: Coercion and Citizenship in the Bolivian Barracks (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020) is an intimate and rich history of the militarization of Bolivia over the course of the twentieth century through the lives of the men conscripted to serve. Beginning with the Civil War of 1899... Read More
Roger Moorhouse, “Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II” (Basic Books, 2020)
Historian and academic Roger Moorhouse, revisits the opening campaign of World War II, the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, in his new book Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II (Basic Books, 2020). Although the German invasion was the cause of the outbreak of World War II,... Read More
The Cold War as History
The Cold War, the on again and off again confrontation between the West and the Soviet Union is one of the most famous historical episodes of the short twentieth century. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the Cold War was an event which has divided historians since the beginnings of... Read More